Making Our Homes Our Sanctuaries~

I talk a lot about my belief that our homes should be sanctuaries.  I profess my belief that they should be places where we feel safe and protected and at ease from the worries and stress of life.
I have shared numerous times my feelings about how our homes should be places that make us feel happy, welcome and content.

That's all well and good.  But how do we apply those ideas?  What is a practical approach to making our homes into sanctuaries, safe havens and places of contentment?

That's what I want to talk about today.

Read more after the break...

Even though I have shared my "honest decorating" philosophy, which is something I whole-heartedly believe in, I sometimes still struggle with a desire to have my home look like something out of a magazine shoot...to have the "best of everything".  I'm not saying that either of those aspirations are bad or wrong...just that they aren't 100% realistic for me at this point in my life.

So how do I go about creating a beautiful space that I love and that achieves the higher function of acting as a sanctuary?

As I have been contemplating this idea this week, I have come back time and again to a conversation I had when I was a newlywed living in a basement apartment.  I was talking with a woman in my neighborhood who expressed the opinion that it was more important to have a nice car and nice clothes than it was to have a nicely decorated home because people see your car and clothes more often than they see your home.

Although, I didn't necessarily agree with her, I could see her logic.  She wanted to put her money into those things that people would notice.  She wanted to project a certain image.  And if that was what was important to her, then that's okay.  I'm certainly not passing judgement on that.  But it made me realize that even though I was living in a basement apartment that few people would ever see, I wanted it to be a place of beauty, comfort and contentment.

And that realization is what has shaped my view of my house ever since. 

I don't want to create a beautiful home so that I can impress others.  I want to create a beautiful home so that I can feel uplifted and inspired when I am there.  And so that my family and friends can feel that way as well.  A beautiful home is a way for me to nurture myself and those I love.

So how do we go about making our homes sanctuaries?  It all starts with our attitude toward our homes.  If we look at our homes and only see the flaws, they will not make us happy.  There are a multitude of things I want to do in my home....paint the kitchen cabinets, add a fireplace, redo the floors.  But since each of those things require money, they will take time to happen.  But I want my home to be a sanctuary now.  So I have learned to love my home as it is...right now.

Loving our homes as they are does not mean that we can't have ideas or plans.  It means that we can enjoy living in them with all of their imperfections.  We can surround ourselves with things that have meaning and importance.  We can find the beauty in the simple, everyday items.  We can learn that home is about the people we live with and love more than about the "things" that fill it.

I am going to talk more about ways to make our homes sanctuaries in the coming days.  But for today, I hope the take-away  can be dwelling on the people in our homes - including ourselves.  If we can make people (rather than things) the priority in our homes, we have taken a big step toward making our homes sanctuaries.

I look forward to sharing more about this idea - along with more practical applications - in the near future.  Hope you'll join me!